How to Select a Reputable Window and Door Replacement Company
Buying windows & doors can be daunting – it doesn’t have to be.
Unlike groceries, clothing or even a car we don’t do it often. We don’t get to taste them, try them on or test drive them before we buy. This can complicate things.
The choices you make when buying windows and doors will likely be the only ones you make as long as you own your home.
Because of this it is very important to buy windows and doors right - the first time!
When you are shopping for new replacement windows and doors take the time to understand your options – and never sign the first deal.
Use this 20 Point Checklist when you are interviewing different companies to replace your windows and doors.
It will help you compare them and show you which one’s have the best chance of offering you the products you are looking for and the level of service you deserve.
IMPORTANT: At the bottom of the included checklist you’ll notice a signature block. Be sure to have any company that bids on your windows go through and sign this document verifying that their claims are true. If they don’t add up, don’t use them.
|Click the items below for details:|
|1. History - 5+ Years in Business|| |
|2. B1 & C17 Licensed Contractor||Same License Number Since 1995|| Year License|
| Year License|
|3. Window & Door Specialists||[gn_icon icon="icon: check" background="#ffffff" color="#719600" text_color="#333333" size="30" shape_size="16" radius="256" text_size="16" margin="0px 10px 10px 0px" target="blank"][/gn_icon]||[gn_icon icon="icon: square-o" background="#ffffff" color="#666" size="30" margin="10px 20px 20px 0px"][/gn_icon]||[gn_icon icon="icon: square-o" background="#ffffff" color="#666" size="30" margin="10px 20px 20px 0px"][/gn_icon]|
|4. Factory Trained Installers||[gn_icon icon="icon: check" background="#ffffff" color="#719600" text_color="#333333" size="30" shape_size="16" radius="256" text_size="16" margin="0px 10px 10px 0px" target="blank"][/gn_icon]||[gn_icon icon="icon: square-o" background="#ffffff" color="#666" size="30" margin="10px 20px 20px 0px"][/gn_icon]|
|5. Employees, Not Sub-Contractors||[gn_icon icon="icon: check" background="#ffffff" color="#719600" text_color="#333333" size="30" shape_size="16" radius="256" text_size="16" margin="0px 10px 10px 0px" target="blank"][/gn_icon]|
|6. Background Checks|
|8. Liability Insurance|
|9. Workman's Comp Insurance|
|10. Limited Lifetime Warranty|
|11. 10-Year Installation Warranty|
|12. Accidental Glass Breakage|
|13. BBB A+ Rated/Angie's List|
|17. Fair Pricing/Value|
|18. Conveniently Located Showroom(s)|
|19. Made Locally – Made in the USA Certified||[gn_icon icon="icon: check" background="#ffffff" color="#719600" text_color="#333333" size="50" shape_size="16" radius="256" text_size="16" margin="0px 10px 10px 0px" target="blank"][/gn_icon]|
|20. MANUFACTURER DIRECT||[gn_icon icon="icon: check" background="#ffffff" color="#719600" text_color="#333333" size="50" shape_size="16" radius="256" text_size="16" margin="0px 10px 10px 0px" target="blank"][/gn_icon]|
Why are each of these items important?There are many things to consider when selecting the right window company company for you. Here are the finer details of each item from the above checklist.
We hope they make you a smarter and more capable window buyer.
History - At least 5+ Years in Business
There are many factors to this item. Staying power in any industry is important.
- Is the company reliable and have they withstood the test of time?
- Have they survived good and bad economies?
- Have they been able to support their customers through the entire warranty period they offer?
- Have they been able to keep a good "long-term" reputation?
- Does the company carry an excess of parts in inventory for customer service and warranty issues?
- Does the company claim to have more years of experience than their time in business?
- Has the company been operating using the same name for as long as they've been in business, or do they continuously change their name each time their reputation is tarnished?
Win-Dor has been manufacturing and installing windows and doors since 1994.
B1 & C17 Licensed Contractor
Does the company you are considering have a current and valid California State Contractors License number with the designation of B1 & C17?
If you are considering a company who isn't a licensed contractor or doesn't have a designation for windows they are not specialists.
Win-Dor holds both the B1 and C17 license designations and has had the same CLSB license number since 1995.
Click here to check on your prospective window and door companies.
Window & Door Specialists
Does the company you are considering specialize in windows and doors or do they do it all? Their contractors license number will usually indicate if they are specialists.
Window & Door Specialists are also extremely familiar with the types of windows and doors available in the market – and can recommend different options when it comes to various applications.
Further, Window & Door Specialists are often familiar with national, state and local zoning regulations. Many Window & Door Specialists also work in conjunction with the various homeowners associations and have a familiarity with their requirements as well.
Win-Dor only does windows and doors and we know the laws. We also work with and have relationships with most of the local homeowners associations.
Factory Trained Installers
Are the installers trained experts or labor for hire? Many window manufacturers have different installation methods and specifications to meet their warranty requirements. If the window is installed improperly a few things could happen.
First, the window or door may leak or not allow water to flow properly and exit the opening. This can lead to water damage, termites and a whole list of problems.
Secondly, if the windows or doors are not installed to exact specifications, the warranty may be void the instant that they are installed.
Because of these things, it's critical that the installers either be employees of the manufacturer or certified, authorized and factory trained.
All of Win-Dor's installers are factory trained and go through a rigorous apprenticeship program.
Employees, Not Sub-contractors
Some companies use their own employees to install the windows they sell.
Some companies contract the work out to a third party sub-contractor to install the windows and doors.
And some companies hire day laborers as needed to keep their costs at a minimum.
Ideally you want to work with a company who has employees as installers for several reasons we'll explain below. Ultimately, having employees do the install offers the homeowner the greatest level of protection.
Win-Dor never uses outside resources to install your windows and doors. All of our installers are employees.
One thing that many homeowners don't consider and simply assume is their safety and the safety of the items in their homes. When you are having windows installed you are allowing strangers into your home. You must not only consider the qualifications of these people, but also their character.
Does the company employing the installers screen them at the time of hire and during their employment to make sure they are not drug users, have no DUI's and most importantly, no criminal history?
When companies pick up day laborers and part-timers they often have no idea of who they are inviting into your home.
All of Win-Dor's employees are screened and checked before an interview ever takes place.
Things happen in the construction and home improvement industry. Bonds protect specific jobs, providing coverage if the job is not completed to satisfaction. If a bonded contractor abandons a job in the middle, for example, the contractor's client could make a claim to be compensated. Bonds also cover things like damage caused by doing the job, theft, and other problems related to the satisfactory completion of a job.
Make sure that the company you work with carries a bond for at least the amount of your job.
Win-Dor is bonded to protect you.
Insurance covers against specific types of losses. For example, if an insured window installer accidentally damages your neighbors property causing them lost work time, the company's liability insurance would provide this type of compensation.
Liability insurance would also cover damage caused by faulty products or product failures.
Whatever the case may be, make sure the company you choose carries liability insurance t protect you.
Win-Dor carries liability insurance to protect you.
Workman's Comp Insurance
Accidents happen and they are very common in the window and door industry because we are working with glass.
If you choose to work with a company that uses contractors or day laborers you may be assuming the responsibility for their workplace safety. This means that if they are hurt on the job, you or your homeowners insurance policy may be picking up the tab.
Workmans Comp Insurance provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for lost wages and medical services. It also provides benefits to the contractor's family in the event of death.
For your own protection, it's critical that whoever you allow into your home to install windows and doors be properly insured.
Win-Dor carries Workman's Comp insurance to protect you and our employees.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Our limited lifetime warranty covers the product from defect or failure for as long as you own your home and covers materials and workmanship.
If the product is defective or fails it will be repaired or replaced at our expense.
Of course, acts of nature such as earthquakes, floods fires, misuse, corrosion caused by ocean air and normal wear and tear are not covered.
Standing behind a warranty comes at a cost. This cost is seen with a slight increase in the retail price of a product. You can think of this additional cost as a small price to pay to ensure that you are covered in the event of an issue.
Win-Dor offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on all of our products.
10-Year Installation Warranty
The installation warranty covers the actual installation of the product.
This portion of the warranty covers the materials used during the installation itself such as foam, caulking, etc. It also covers you in the event the window was installed incorrectly.
It does not however cover issues due to construction defects such as movement of the home or settling.
Dealing with one company who covers both the product and the installation has its benefits.
When dealing with two separate companies on a warranty issue, both parties can try to place blame on the other leaving you, the homeowner in the middle. The manufacturer will blame the installer for improper installation while the installer will blame the manufacturer for a defect product...Worse, at times, contractors or day laborers are nowhere to be found.
Win-Dor offers a 10-Year Installation Warranty so there's only one place to go if you need help with your windows and doors.
Accidental Glass Breakage
Accidents happen. Many companies will offer accidental glass breakage as part of their warranty. The breakage can not be due to misuse or purposeful action and often requires a trip-charge for the repair. But it's good to know that in the event a window is broken, you will be taken care of.
Win-Dor offers Accidental Glass Breakage Protection.
BBB A+ Rated/Angie's List
For the last several decades, The Better Business Bureau has been the Gold Standard in the customer review and opinion arena.
Today though, with sites like Yelp and Angie's List there are more options and places to get a feel for peoples experiences with certain companies.
Yelp is great for food, but not always great for other businesses because Yelp doesn't require any verification that someone actually had an experience with a business to review them. In fact, there have been several instances where companies have payed people to leave negative reviews of their competitors while leaving stellar reviews for them.
When looking for reviews and ratings beyond the Better Business Bureau, look to sites like Angie's List where proof of a transaction are required or more common leading to accurate and highly qualified "real reviews" made by real customers.
The last thing that you want to do is base your buying decision on a false premise.
Win-Dor is proud to be BBB A+ Rated since 1995.
Trusted Review Sites:
BBB • Angie's List
Another great source for working with a company you can trust is to simply call or ask a friend or family member. Buying replacement windows and doors is a unique process and not everyone has done it. Chances are though that if you ask around you'll get good quality feedback. And companies who have been in business for a long time rely on referrals for the bulk of their business.
We live in a very price conscious and consumable society. When buying things the first thing that most people look at is price. But because everything today is so highly consumable we sometimes overlook quality or how long a product may last.
When buying a windows and doors, you must look at product longevity because they have to last 10, 15 or even more than 20 years. The last thing you want to do now is skimp on quality to save a couple dollars only to find yourself re-buying new windows again in 5 years because the windows you bought did not last.
Over one-half of Win-Dor's new business comes from referrals from happy past clients.
Great windows often come at an increased cost vs. the cheaper ones. But there are other benefits too such as added utility savings due to energy efficiency which may offset these costs.
If you can't afford to pay for your new windows and doors all at once, the company you are buying them from may offer financing at better rates than you might get using your credit card. Some more established companies will even offer 0% interest rate terms for up to a year.
Again, buy the highest quality windows and doors that you can afford from whoever you choose to buy and install them from. Windows and doors are an investment and they should last, and potentially pay for themselves over time in both utility savings and comfort in your home.
Win-Dor is qualified to offer several financing packages to help you get the best windows and doors available and a price or payment that you can afford.
There are many companies that promote special offers with low-low prices that are either unrealistic or unreasonable.
Sometimes the cheaper product will actually cost you more in the long run.
Cheaper products tend to fail earlier requiring re-replacement. And if the company you are buying from isn't charging enough to stay in business for years to come, you may be left holding the bag and paying for future problems. Not only that, but you could also find yourself looking through mismatched windows as you find another company to fix things.
Because Win-Dor is the manufacturer and the installer we are able to control our costs and build a higher quality, feature rich end product. Our prices are always fair for the value you will receive.
Conveniently Located Showroom(s)
Are you talking with a real window and door company, a representative/re-seller of a company or just a guy who has a truck who would like to sell you windows as inexpensively as possible?
What if you want to actually touch the products you are going to be buying? What if you want to see how they feel, how easily they operate and how they really look?
While it’s true that the average window and door salesperson or consultant will do everything possible to take the showroom to you, it’s still very difficult to get an idea of a product without seeing it firsthand.
This makes a showroom critically important.
Win-Dor has several showrooms throughout Southern California where you can see the quality of our products first hand.
Made Locally – Made in the USA Certified
When you buy from Win-Dor, you are buying products that are Made in the USA Certified! You are supporting the Southern California economy and helping to create local jobs.
We take pride in our work and strive to manufacturer the best vinyl replacement windows and doors available!
When you buy from Win-Dor, you are cutting out the middleman and buying directly from the manufacturer.
This allows us to build a better window and door for about the same price as a lesser quality product than you might get from a discount window broker or dealer.
And when you are making a window or door purchase, quality counts!